You may have encountered both Grandad and Granddad as spellings of the same word and wondered which one is correct.
Both granddad and grandad are the correct spelling depending on where you are in the world. For American English, granddad is the standard spelling, whereas, in British English, both spellings are common. It comes down to the speaker and which they prefer.
Let’s discover some of the preferences from different countries, why they use one spelling over the other, and some of the history behind the word “grandad” or “granddad.”
Why is it Granddad in America?
Most of the logic behind the American spelling is because it combines both “grand” and “dad.” It’s similar to “grandfather,” which is a combination of the words “grand” and “father.” Therefore in the American spelling, they maintain all of the letters of both words even though it ends up having two Ds next to each other.
Why is it Grandad in Britain?
Grandad is one of the most popular terms for a male grandparent in the UK, so you’ll come across different spellings. Both Grandad and Granddad are correct spellings depending on where you are in the UK. Most people spell it Grandad, and there isn’t background on why there is only one D in the middle of the word.
Does Australia Use Grandad or Granddad?
Australia is much like the UK in that you’ll find both spellings. There doesn’t seem to be a preference for one or the other, but most likely, “grandad” is a spelling that is more common given Australia’s closer connections to the UK, at least historically.
Where Does Grandad Come From?
According to Dictionary.com, the first record of the word grandad comes from the 1700s. It comes after the popularity of the word as an informal form of the word father. English speakers then used the prefix “grand-,” a family term to indicate someone who is a generation removed. It’s similar to “great-” before “great-grandfather.”
Due to the strong bonds between grandchildren and their grandparents, many informal names started to appear as variance to the word “grandfather.” “Grandad” became one of them as “dad” was already a more colloquial term to replace “father.” However, there are many other fun, informal variants to refer to one’s male grandparents, from Grandpop to Gramps to even Papa.
Many families even come up with their names depending on the family’s history and inside jokes between the grandparents and grandchildren. Because of this, there can always be tons of spelling variations even with the more standard variants, let alone these other variations where the spelling may be unique to each family.
Some of the other informal terms for a grandfather are:
Should You Capitalize “Grandad?”
Another variation you are bound to see with “granddad” is whether or not to capitalize the first letter. This, too, depends on the context, and it should have a capital letter if you’re using granddad as another name for a specific person. However, it can be lowercase if you’re using granddad as a more general term.
However, you will find people who always capitalize the word, as I see it more as a proper noun than a general word to refer to many different people. It depends on the region and the particular individual.
Both grandad and granddad can’t be correct spellings depending on which part of the world you are in. In America, it’s almost always granddad, whereas, in places like the UK and Australia, the spelling tends to vary depending on the region and the speaker. However, both are acceptable spellings.